Caps Like What They See From Prospect Eakin
Yesterday, Bruce Boudreau dubbed 2009 third-round draft pick Cody Eakin as one of the early surprises in rookie camp. The two-way forward has looked at ease in the workouts so far at this week at KCI, showcasing his natural skating ability and working to be the next young player to make a splash with the Caps.
Eakin is only 18 years old, so he'll most likely return to his junior team, the WHL's Swift Current Broncos next season, but the Capitals have had an eye on the 5-foot-11, 187-pound center for quite some time.
While many teams didn't know too much about Eakin before he was named Player of the Game for his two goals in the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game, the Caps noticed him a year earlier, when they saw him play as a 16-year-old for Swift Current.
"He is a tremendous skater, he's a very determined young man," said Ross Mahoney, Washington's director of amateur scouting. "That underage year, he might have been the best player on his team in the playoffs. When you see a player step up into a pressure situation and play hard, that's something you notice. Then the prospect game, he went there -- he's naturally a center -- he ended up playing left wing in that game and it didn't bother him at all. He scored and elevated his game again."
Eakin played alongside No. 1 overall pick Jonathan Tavares in the prospect game and also had Bobby Orr as his coach in that showcase. He finished with 24 goals and 48 points in 54 games for Swift Current last season.
"I thought I could play with those guys [at the top prospect game]," Eakin said. "I knew I could and I wanted to show everyone that I could. Before that season, I was held back with a little bit of injury stuff and since that I've just wanted to show that everything's okay."
Eakin missed about seven weeks between his 16th and 17th years with two separate concussions, but he said he feels fine and has no lingering effects or headaches.
And because no prospect post is complete without at least one embarrassing fact, Eakin's first game was with his sister's ringette team. "They didn't have enough skaters and I had my gear in the car," he said. "I must have been about four or five. It was just any excuse to get on the ice at that age."
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